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    Putting the Focus Back on Talent Management in AEC

    The recession took a huge toll on the AEC industry workforce. Many workers have found jobs outside the industry and many firms have been slow in ramping up their investment in training and education as the economy begins to recover. As a result, the consensus of AEC experts is that the industry is facing a major crisis in talent management. A May 2012 McGraw Hill report, “SmartMarket Report: Construction Worker Shortages,” predicts major skilled worker shortages in the next two to three years at a time when nonresidential construction starts are expected to grow rapidly. And there appears to be no easy fix. Major industry shifts coupled with retiring baby boomers, the impact of the recession and an inadequate pipeline of skilled workers is complicating the problem and causing concern in both the A/E segments of the market and the General/Specialty Contractor segments.

    According to McGraw Hill’s report, one of the major concerns across the industry is a shortage of skilled workers to fill project management and process roles as well as specialty knowledge in many of the newer industry innovations around green construction, business information modeling (BIM) and other key production technologies. Many of the senior executives that contributed to the report are concerned that on the job training will not be sufficient to fill these skill gaps, resulting in more demand for formal education and certification programs as the industry continues to shift toward more environmental conscious and technologically advanced solutions.

    Firm leaders will need to do their part to provide continuing education opportunities to keep their teams on the cutting edge of industry innovation. The top four means of providing these opportunities, according to the “Smart Market Report,” include:
    • Financial reimbursement from training offered by associations/unions
    • Payment for certification programs
    • Financial reimbursement for training at educational institutions
    • Mentor programs

    These are all proven and valid ways to add needed skills to your firm’s portfolio and given the competition for experience workers, investing in your up and coming professionals is a wise investment.

    Link for report download: